How to Choose the Most Suitable Polishing Pads for Your Car

Keeping your car clean is important, as not only does the maintenance of your vehicle directly affect its resale value, but the cleanliness of your car can also have an impression on those around you. One of the best ways to make your car shine and remove any exterior imperfections is by polishing it at least once a year. There are many different things that can influence the end result of your vehicle’s polish, but one of the most important is the type of polishing pads you use on your vehicle. 

From microfibre, wool and foam variations through to professional polishing machines, there are plenty of tools available to take on this particular car detailing task. But how do you know which type of pad is the right one for your particular vehicle? Here are some tips on choosing the right pads to polish your car. 

Ask an Expert

The act of polishing your car can be slightly abrasive on its paintwork, so for this reason, it’s vital that you select the right polishing pads for the job. If you love your car, it’s also likely you love working on it yourself, so while asking an experienced detailer for tips seems like an obvious first step, it’s understandable that you might be reluctant to do this because you want to give it a go yourself.

However, the expert knowledge a detailer brings to the table can’t be undervalued. They’ll be able to give you advice on the right material for your vehicle as well as advice on any other products or techniques you may need to get the job done properly. 

Wool, Foam or Microfibre?

Selecting the kind of material for the polishing pads you wish to use will ultimately come down to if your car’s paintwork has any special requirements when polishing and the types of imperfections or scrapes on the vehicle you’re attempting to polish.

For instance, wool and sheepskin pads tend to be somewhat abrasive, as the hairs on them can be quite coarse. This makes them ideal for tending to deep scratches on your vehicle’s paintwork, however the hairs on wool pads can leave small scratches behind.

A microfibre pad should then be employed to clean up any scratches or small imperfections left behind by wool or sheepskin pads. Similarly to wool pads, microfibre pads have small hairs on them, but the hairs themselves are far softer, meaning that a high shine can be achieved if desired. 

Foam pads come in several types, so it’s important to know in advance which kind of paint your vehicle has and whether you’ll need to employ pads for specific paint lacquers. Polishing pads often have an open cell structure, which means they absorb and distribute polishing paste products more evenly and are easier to clean once the job is done. 

How Many Pads Are Needed?

Polishing pads can be sold individually or in packs of two or more. The number of polishing pads you need will depend on all of the aforementioned variables, the kind of paint you’re working with, and your own desired outcome of applying polishing products. In general, it’s recommended to stock up on at least three pads of several varieties. This is due to the fact that you’ll be changing pads fairly regularly during the polishing process and you may not always have time to clean them and ensure they’re dry, especially if carrying out the work over multiple days.